An Unusual Complication of Intraosseous Needle Use

John T. Denny, Andres Ocampo, Angela M. Denny, Wayne Wang, Marco Del Castillo, Julia E. Denny, Darrick Chyu, Geza Kiss


Intraosseous (IO) needles are extremely useful tools to gain urgent access to the circulation when more conventional routes are unavailable or unsuccessful. As with any medical procedure, complications can occur. We review the indications for IO usage and illustrate an unusual complication of continued serous drainage following IO needle removal. The drainage was significant enough to require use of a drainage bag. This chronically ill patient developed septic shock, multi-system organ failure, renal failure and a high catabolic state. As he did not fully tolerate enteric tube feeds, it was not possible to maintain adequate serum albumin. The resultant lower colloid oncotic pressure contributed to the chronic serous leak from the IO site. Avoidance of such a complication relies on proper IO placement and the ability to maintain adequate nutrition to maintain plasma oncotic pressure. Other complications of IO use are reviewed.

J Med Cases. 2015;6(2):98-100


Intraosseous needle; Complications of intraosseous use; Intravenous access

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